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cylinder seal

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Spotted, mottled, pale green and dark brown chalcedony cylinder seal; two altars, bearing respectively a rayed cross is a disc (sun or star of Ishtar?) and a crescent (symbol of Sin?), stand before a priest who faces left, with his left arm hanging down by his side and his right hand raised, palm uppermost, towards them. The symbols are each supported on a short post inserted into the top of a pear-shaped stand, which is decorated with a vertical ladder-pattern band; there is a short horizontal line across the post beneath each symbol (beneath the disc this feature is largely obliterated by a chip) and the pear-shape beneath the disc rests on a rectangle decorated with very fine cross-hatching. The altars have single rectangles at the base and top, decorated with three rows of horizontal undulating lines; the front is divided into three vertical panels beneath the crescent and four vertical rectangular panels beneath the disc. The priest wears crossed straps over his robe. There is no evidence that the seal ever bore an inscription. Edges and ends chipped, with some of the chips smoothed and polished; chip beneath the disc; faults in the stone across the altars and across the priest's skirt.


  • Culture/period

  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 3.7 centimetres
    • Diameter: 1.7 centimetres
  • Bibliography

    • De Clercq L & Menant J 1888 372 and p.203 n.2 (cf:) bibliographic details
    • Collon 2001a 389, pl.XXXII bibliographic details
    • Ohnefalsch-Richter M 1893 87,16 bibliographic details
    • Menant J 1886 p.133 bibliographic details
    • Menant J 1886 p.267, fig.120 (cf:) bibliographic details
    • Boardman J 1984a p.34, no.44 (Moorey authored article) bibliographic details
    • Wiseman 1959 pl.96 ((but not fig.120)) bibliographic details
    • Lajard F 1847 pl.XXXIX:6 (drawing does not show damage) bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Condition

    Fair; edges and ends chipped, with some of the chips smoothed and polished; chip and faults in the stone on the design.

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    According to catalogue "Ex Prince Poniatowski Collection, Florence, ex Hertz Collection, sold by J.Mayer at Sotheby's, London, 9 February 1859, Lot 404 - Hertz sale". Xerox entry states that the Sotheby's sale was of the Hertz collection then in the possession of J.Mayer.

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


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Object reference number: WCO106433

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